Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sleep Mask.

Just this afternoon I was researching on the internets about how to alter your circadian rhythm and become more of an early bird rather than a night owl.  There is a lot of fascinating stuff out there about sleep cycles, and I'm sure if you google it, you can read it too.

Two things that are definitely worth trying (and I must confess, the first one should be obvious...I say, as I sit in front of my computer typing away at 10:25pm):

1.  Go to bed and be sleeping by 10:30pm...every night.  Soon you will be trained to be sleepy by that time, and you will get up earlier.  Plus, apparently, some important sleep goes on between 10pm and 2am (I can't remember what, exactly...but if you google it, it will be there.  So much for this blog being a one-stop-shop!).  And then some more important sleep goes on between 2am and 6am.  It all correlates roughly with sunlight/daylight.  Your body produces different hormones when it's completely dark than when it's light outside.  Because of electricity, our bodies are exposed to light even when the sun goes down, we stay awake later, and our bodies are confused and sleep deprived (very rough paraphrase).

2.  Utilize a sleep mask.  

If you cannot get your room to be completely dark, a sleep mask might be a good idea for you.  This, mixed with going to bed early, will get your sleep hormones back on track, and you won't be as tired during the day.  Of course, some use a sleep mask for if they have to sleep during the day, in order to block the sunlight...but they can also be used at night if you can't get your bedroom to be completely dark (I don't know, maybe your window is next to a street light).  There are many interesting health benefits to having a regular sleep pattern.  Having contact with some bright sunlight in the morning (and throughout the day) is also very important.  If you live in a cloudy climate, I'm sure daylight still counts for something, even if the sky is grey.  One website recommended spending at least one hour each day outside.  Thank goodness it's technically spring, so I can try to make this happen (I wonder if sitting in a car during a commute counts?)....sadly, as much as I would like to say I spend an hour outside each day, it probably doesn't happen.

So, anyway,  I decided that I would look up some ideas for making my own sleep mask (gotta utilize that sewing machine), and then tonight I would try to go to bed early.  One website even suggested gradually just making your living space darker (ie, using a dimmer switch if you have it), so that your body would be tricked into getting sleepy earlier (like when you go camping and are tired just a couple hours after the sun goes feel like it must be at least midnight, but it's really only like, 10pm).   As luck(?) would have it, our television randomly shut off this afternoon, and won't turn back on...and if you recall, I gave up Facebook and Twitter for Lent.  So, really there's no excuses* for being awake right now, other than blogging.  That, and I procrastinated and didn't actually make myself a sleep mask today.  And it's quarter to 11pm.

Man.  I do like the idea of developing a grown-up's sleep schedule.  And about making my own mask.  And about spending 1/24th of my day outside.  But I am no good at actually implementing my new ideas.  Perhaps I will sleep with a bag over my head tonight, or stay up late sewing a sleep mask for myself.


*For those who don't know me well, I must disclaim that of course I am a fan of reading books and spending time with my husband.  Sometimes sarcasm doesn't travel well through the internet, especially if you don't know the person writing.


Julie said...

Laura, please don't sleep with a bag over your head - I sense some danger in this!

But I bet you could make a super cute face mask.

Laura said...

Plus, Steve probably won't like it.

...If my mask turns out, I will post a picture. :)

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